Friday Fruit Audit ~ Do You Share Jesus with People?

People really don’t want to hear about Jesus. I don’t want to offend anyone. I’m terrible at going up to people. I believe what I believe and I let others believe what they want to believe. Evangelizing is OK for pastors and people who seem just a little socially off, but I don’t feel called to do it and besides I’m no good at it anyway.

These are just a few of the excuses I hear people use, myself included. Do you realize that if Paul, Peter, James or any of the other disciples felt this way and acted on their feelings, NONE of us would be saved? Jesus did not just ask his first disciples to preach the gospel, he asked everyone who calls himself or herself a believer and follower of Christ. The Holy Spirit helps us but we must be willing to be his ambassador. We are privileged to help God in the calling of his people.

“But I honestly don’t know how to spread the gospel.” This is a valid response however if your child said, “but I don’t know how to read” I bet you would just stop and say, “You know what? I get it. It is just too hard and confusing for you. Don’t worry about it then. You will be fine…” Yeah, right. Like that would happen. Stop acting like a child and do what your Father has asked you to do. Here is a short list that will help you get started.

1. Practice.
You will never get good at anything unless you practice. Person by person. Start today with just one person.

2. Be prepared.
You need to know what you are sharing. Going around saying to people they need God because he will make their lives better and that he loves them is the worst thing you can do. If you understand the costs associated with following Christ, then you are more able to explain it to someone else. A great place to learn how to share the gospel is at www.sharetheumbrella.com.

3. Understand Your Roll
You should not go up to people and say “Do you want to hear about Jesus?” Think about the last time you bought something that was sold to you. Why did you buy it? You did not just wake up and decide “I’m going to buy a new Toyota today.” There would have been some great marketing done by Toyota along with your own forethought and research to back up your purchase. We do business with people we know like and trust. Don’t assume spreading the gospel is any different than selling anything else. I don’t want to cheapen the gospel by any means but I do want you to think about it the next time you try to shove your religion down anyone’s throat. It never works. There will be times when someone will flat out ask you to share, point by point, what the gospel is. However, more often than not, people will be drawn to your “light” because of your love and the way you live your life. Look for opportunities to share a little bit of Jesus in every conversation. Literally try to think, “How can I mention the name of Jesus in this conversation?” You will start getting good at inserting the Word of God in all your conversations.

4. Pray, Pray, and Pray

  • Ask God every morning for “divine appointments” meaning opportunities to share God’s Word.
  • Ask God every morning for “low hanging fruit” meaning people who want to talk about Jesus who may not know him fully yet.
  • Ask the Holy Spirit to speak through you.
  • Any time you share the gospel or are building a relationship with someone, pray for them often.
  • When you share the gospel with others pray regularly for them. Pray that the Holy Spirit would do a great work in them and bring them to repentance.

 

Don’t ever forget, Jesus calls us as his ambassadors to “make disciples.”

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” – Matthew 28:19

“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” – 2 Corinthians 5:20

Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible. (Eph. 6:24)
Maranatha! (Come, Lord Jesus!)

~ Jen O’Sullivan
www.HolyJustLove.com

Fruits Audit ~ What does it mean to “bear fruit”?

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” – Galatians 5:22-23a

Most people when they ask themselves the question, “Am I bearing good fruit?” think of the Fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. They simply run through the list to make sure they are “bearing good fruit.” While this is a good place to start, it is by no means an exhaustive list of what what Jesus meant when he said we need to “bear good fruit.” Jesus said in Matthew 7:18-20, “A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.” There are over 40 verses in the New Testament that talk about fruit as it pertains to being a converted follower of Christ. Here is a more complete list of what it means to “bear good fruit” but again, it is not exhaustive.

1. Jesus calls us to “make disciples.”
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” – Matthew 28:19

2. Do you crave God more and more each day?
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.” – Matthew 22:36-38

3. Do you walk by the Spirit (Fruit of the Spirit)
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.” – Galatians 5:16-26

4. Do you have chronic sin?
“No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.” – 1 John 3:6-10

5. Do you keep His Commandments?
“And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. [4] Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, [5] but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: [6] whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.” – 1 John 2:3-6

6. Do you love others?
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.” – 1 John 4:7-12

7. Do you love your enemy?
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:43-48

8. Do you love the things of this world?
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. [16] For all that is in the world- the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions-is not from the Father but is from the world. [17] And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” – 1 John 2:15-17

9. Are you convicted by the Holy Spirit?
“And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.” – John 16:8-11

10. Do you grow in the knowledge and understanding of God’s Word?
“Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.” – John 8:47

Again, this list is not exhaustive but I encourage you to take a look at our Fruits Audit section and read a bit more on each topic.

Below are just a few verses regarding fruit.

“so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” – Colossians 1:10

“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit.” – Matthew 12:33

“Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” – John 15:2

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.” – John 15:16

“As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.” – Matthew 13:23

Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible. (Eph. 6:24)
Maranatha! (Come, Lord Jesus!)

~ Jen O’Sullivan
www.HolyJustLove.com

Friday Fruit Audit ~ Do you Love the World

starbucksWe live in a world where we sit in a Starbucks sipping a $4 latte and complain about how we lost a stock investment or that our kid’s tuition for private school is too high or that the price of gas is over $4 a gallon. But did you know that over half the population of the world lives on less than $2 a day? We are rich beyond what we could even understand rich to mean.

I sat in a bible study last year and listened to an Orange County housewife pour her heart out to the group that she was desperate for prayer because her family was in her words, “one paycheck away from being homeless.” I honestly did not know what to say. Really!? Did she even understand what that word meant? God forbid she cut back on her cable bill or cancel her smart phone internet service. But hey, let’s decide we are going to be homeless because we won’t be able to afford the $8,000 a month in household expenses. I wanted to vomit. But then realized this is how most people live. It is how I live. They don’t understand how anyone else lives on $100 a day let alone $2. How could they? All they know is this life they live. People want what they are used to.

Well, guess what? God has another idea for us. Take a look around. Take a look at your checking account. What do you spend your money on? If you gave me 10 minutes in your home and a quick peek at your checkbook for last month I bet I could tell you what is most important to you and your family. Please don’t get me wrong. I am not trying to judge you. I am only asking that you judge yourself.

I woke up one day and realized that I was obsessed. Obsessed with the things of this world. I had to have that bright orange Hermes Dogon wallet. I had to have that uber-cute triple set of Cartier tri-toned bangle bracelets. I had to have the most expensive Tod’s shoes. My car needed to be a luxury model. My hair had to be perfect all the time with the perfect highlights. Horror was the day that I stepped out of my house without makeup. I was indeed obsessed. My obsession was not really in the things themselves. Those are not the sin. It was how they made me feel. I felt better than everyone else when I wore my Hermes H belt. I felt better than others when they did not even know what the really high affluent brands were that I had on because I was “in the know” and they were not.

I was disgusting! I bought into the lure and the lie of this world. It blinded me to what was really important. Jesus. Jesus, only Jesus. How often have you heard a wealthy person say “Money is not the root of all evil, it’s the LOVE of money that is.” Money is a necessary tool and that is all it is. I am not saying you cannot be a Christian if you have a ton of cash. However, the Bible does have something to say about it.

“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” – Mark 10:25

Let’s take a moment to dissect this verse a bit. Part of the issue with how we read the Bible today is that we do not place it in historical context. If we read that verse as we understand it today, that would mean it would be IMPOSSIBLE for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God. Some claim that is not what Jesus meant at all. I have heard that there was a really small gate in Jerusalem that was extremely hard for camels to get through. Here is what Wikipedia says about it.

The “eye of the needle” has been claimed to be a gate in Jerusalem, which opened after the main gate was closed at night. A camel could only pass through this smaller gate if it was stooped and had its baggage removed. This story has been put forth since at least the 15th century, and possibly as far back as the 9th century. However, there is no evidence for the existence of such a gate. (emphasis added.)

Variations on this story include that of ancient inns having small entrances to thwart thieves, or a story of an old mountain pass known as the “eye of the needle”, so narrow that merchants would have to dismount from their camels and were thus more vulnerable to waiting brigands. There is no historical evidence for any of these, either. This also ignores the explanation given: “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

I have looked all over the internet to find any proof at all that there is or was a gate in Jerusalem that was hard for a camel to pass through. There is none. The point to what Jesus was saying is that it IS impossible and if you keep reading you will see how it can be made possible for a wealthy person to get to Heaven.

And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” Mark 10:26-27

Did you catch that? They were exceedingly astonished. I was in another bible study the other night and brought up this point to another group of wealthy OC churchgoers. I thought I was going to get pitch-forked right out of my seat. One woman in front of me actually hit my leg in outrage while three others literally whipped around in their seats in horror and in disagreement. Take it up with God people. It is not my opinion. The Word of God is clear. Wealth makes us self-reliant, not God-reliant. Wealth gives us the ability to be distracted. With God ALL things are possible and I do know some extremely affluent people who are full fledged converts to Christ who follow him boldly. Oddly those people are few and they do massive and mighty works for God. They do not tithe to God. They tithe to themselves. They give 10% of what they make to themselves and give 90% back to God through church giving, church planting, and spreading the gospel throughout the world.

Can you take a really good look at your life? Can you find out if you love your life and the things in it just a bit more than God? Can you be honest with yourself? Your eternal salvation depends on it.

Below are some great Bible verses to help you digest this all a little bit more. My prayer is that you would test yourself to see if you are truly a Christian. It is a request from Paul in his second letter to the church in Corinth. “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” – 2 Corinthians 13:5

This is not for you to stumble my dear reader and wonder if you are saved every day. Jesus wants us to have assurance of our salvation and that assurance is possible. The point is to have that assurance through seeing that you are bearing good fruit. Check the other areas to audit yourself in the areas of fruit. It is a blessed thing to have confidence in your sanctification and salvation in The Lord!

Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible. (Eph. 6:24)

Maranatha! (Come, Lord Jesus!)

~ Jen O’Sullivan
www.HolyJustLove.com

 

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world- the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions-is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. – 1 John 2:15-17

If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. – John 15:19

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. – Matthew 6:24

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. – 1 Timothy 6:10

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Hebrews 13:5

but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. – Mark 4:19

Friday Fruits Audit ~ Your Words

bridle your tongueDo you bridle your tongue?

The words you say have the ability to direct your life; either to a sinful destiny or a godly destiny. I choose the latter, however, I often fail. I pray daily for help in this area and get sad when, once again, I blow it. James put it so well when he discusses this in the below passage. Readers were well acquainted with the understanding behind the examples of bits and horses, rudders and ships. They would have heard these analogies often. To compare those ideas with the tongue and the body makes one not think that you can control the body physically with the tongue but that the bit and the rudder controls the DIRECTION the horse and ship go, so similarly the tongue controls the direction a man goes; his is destiny to live a controlled, godly life.

“If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.” – James 3:3-12, ESV

How many times do we have to mess this up before we get it right? Probably until we are home with Jesus. However, it is not something that we should overlook. Actually, having the Holy Spirit dwell in you means that your words, if slanderous, used for gossip, cussing with friends because it is funny, or any other ungodly use should have a somewhat immediate effect on your own spirit. I’m not saying you will be perfect and never wrongly judge or criticize someone. I am also not saying that the occasional profanity won’t slip from your mouth by accident. The difference is that the moment it does, if you are truly walking in the Spirit, you will feel convicted. It won’t be months later or even weeks or days. It will be within a moment or two. Perhaps even an hour if you are really in a funk. But that conviction will weigh heavy on your heart. It will cause you to notice right away as a reminder to do better next time. If you are growing as a believer in Christ, you will notice growth. The more you are convicted and continue to walk in the Spirit, the better you will get at bridling your tongue.

Blessing God ~ Fruit

What is God’s fruit and why would it be better than fine gold? I rejoice every day just thinking about what God has in store for me! Gold was the most precious thing back in the days of the writing of the Proverbs. Think about the best thing in this world you could think of. Winning the Mega Lottery? Having a 10 carrot diamond ring? Catching 10 perfect waves in one day? What is your “best thing ever” idea of life? Times that by a million and you will start to get a glimpse of what God has for you.

Berries“Fruit”

My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold,
and my yield than choice silver.
- Proverbs 8:19

Photography by Jen O’Sullivan

Blessing God Series
Rain from the Lord
Grass in the Field
Parable of the Pearl
Rocks Cry Out
Flourish
Joy in the Thorns
Perfection

Fruit Audit ~ What Do You Crave?

What do you crave?

Matthew 22:36-38 (ESV)

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.

Have you ever had the insatiable appetite for something? Chocolate cake, a hot-off-the-conveyor-belt Krispy-Kreme donuts, cold water after a five mile run, the book of Revelation, your bed after dancing all night with your girlfriends, wait, back up, Revelation? What??? Yes, Revelation. Think about it. Have you ever been obsessed with reading your Bible? Have you hungered after it like a newborn is desperate for milk? Here’s what Peter says about it, “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation- if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.” – 1 Peter 2:2-3 (ESV)

The pure spiritual milk he is talking about is the Word of God. On the same note, what drives your life? What do you have an appetite for? Where do you spend most of your time? What do you spend most of your time doing? As the old saying goes, “You are what you eat.” When we diet the first thing we usually have to do is start tracking everything we eat. Have you ever done a diet log? Writing down each day what you eat, how much you eat, and how many calories you eat? You cannot know what to change until you know what your current habits are. You may do this with your finances too. Tracking where every penny goes. I challenge you to do two things.

First, take a look at your checkbook and figure out where most of your extra money goes. Set aside cost of living and then tally up where you spend your extra cash. Do you spend your money on movies with friends, concerts, clothing and shoes, expensive purses, cars (this one is big for the boys but it has gotten increasingly important to us girls too,) how about eating out, or your drinking habits both coffee and alcohol. You can make your own list, this is just a short one based on what most people frivolously spend money on that they claim just disappears

Second, take a look at your waking hours and figure out where you spend most of your extra hours. Set aside your work hours and then tally up everything else. Don’t include your commute time in your work time. That is still yours. Do you spend your extra time watching TV, or how about social media? That one seems to be one of the biggest time suckers even overtaking our TV time. Do you have a long commute where you listen to the news or radio or perhaps your commute is with a friend where you casually talk about nothing important. Right now I bet you are spending tons of time online researching all you can about wedding ideas and finding the right vendors.

Taking inventory on where your extra time and money goes will help you to see what is really important to you. I often hear pastors state that we need to “carve out time for God everyday.” Hmm. That is odd to me. Actually it is pathetic. If I told you I were going to eat just one large meal a week and then each morning I would have just one bite of cereal, but don’t worry because each day I would change up my bite. Tomorrow I might have a bite of banana, and the morning after that I will be sure to eat a bite of broccoli, then the next morning a bite of chicken to get my protein in. You would think I was nuts. You would also tell me if I was serious that I would most likely die from malnutrition. And yes, you would be right.

So what makes us think we are spiritually full by getting 15 minutes of bible reading in, 15 minutes of prayer time, and 1 hour of lesson time from your pastor each week. The timing that I just listed is, I’m guessing, even more than you actually commit to right now. It is what a stronger Christian might serve up to herself. You might be lucky if you even get to church this week let alone open your bible AND pray every single day of your life. Oh, but you pray all the time, in the car here and there, when you are brushing your teeth, and all sorts of other times throughout the day. Oh, I see… well then in your case you are just fine. Keep it up. How’s that working out for you?

So, is carving out 15 minutes or perhaps even 30 minutes a day with your creator fair when you are spending 4 hours watching TV, 2 hours in a mindless commute, 4 hours on Facebook, etc. etc. etc. You get the point. I’m going to challenge you again. After you have completed the first two challenges, I want you to insert time with God into at least half of the mindless time things you are doing. For instance:

  • If you watch 2 hours of TV a day spend one hour watching TV and one hour reading your Bible.
  • If you spend 2 hours a day commuting to and from work, try spending 30 minutes each way praying out load to God in the car or listening to the Bible. You can get quality recordings for free online.
  • If you spend 1 hour reading fiction or magazines, try 30 minutes in a Bible commentary learning something new about God.
  • If you workout at the gym for 1 hour a day, try going on a walk with God in prayer. It is fun to do a gratitude walk where you tank God for as many things as you can think of in beat to your walk pace. Or, at the gym listen to a recorded sermon on your phone. You can find a bunch of amazing sermons by searching for a topic you want to listen to at www.focalpointministries.org or checking out some sermon libraries online.

Proof of Salvation

Can you Prove Your Salvation?

When you were born your parents were very aware of your growth. They had 100% proof that you were growing. If you were not, you would be taken immediately to the doctor. I remember having my baby and freaking out because his weight was in the 10th percentile. I was searching for any cause of lack of weight gain. Even to this date I obsess over the fact that his feet seem to not be growing at all while the other kids in his class have shoe sizes that are 3 sizes bigger. Moms search for evidence and proof of growth and life, constantly. How is it then that we never, or hardly ever, search for proof of growth and life in our faith? To have assurance in your own salvation is a huge thing. The word “hope” in biblical terms does not just mean you hope it might come true one day, but that it actually means “confident assurance.” That is a very different meaning and I think you would love to have confident assurance in the fact that you are going to Heaven. Take a look at our Fruits Audit Section to gain greater insight into your own salvation.

Friday Fruit Audit ~ Practicing Sin

Do you practice sin?

To hear a sermon on this topic, click HERE and listen to what Pastor Mike Fabarez has to say about sin.

What does the word “practice” mean? It means something you repeat often. Dictionary.com states it is a “condition arrived at by experience or exercise.” That’s interesting in light of sin. How many times have you heard the word “desensitize” from our parents and teachers about violence? We arrive at a specific condition of overlooking something or feeling it is now common because we have seen it or done it so many times in the past. This is what John meant when he said, “Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil.” Wow! Is that harsh or what? Actually, it’s not harsh at all. It is the truth. He is not saying if you sin you are not of God, he is saying if you practice sin you are not born of God. Take a look at the following passage.

No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother. – 1 John 3:6-10 (ESV)